I love rain. The more, the better. Great torrents, sluicing down out of a gray sky, are deeply satisfying to me (not talking floods and mudslides here, naturally). I never made any complaint about gearing up in boots, raincoat, and hat to trundle out to the bus stop and then from the corner downtown, along the street to the office. Thunderstorms compel me to take up position on the front porch to glory in the displays. I recently read that in Seattle, to the despair of many residents, precipitation-less days can be weeks apart. I’m envious. Dark, dripping days are my favorites. My neighbor, who studies astrology, says it’s because I was born with most of the planets on the night side of my chart. I suppose it’s as good an explanation as any for my vampirish inclinations toward overcast. When it’s warm enough, I have no greater pleasure than to sit under cover outside and revel in the sight and sound of a downpour. Our motorhome grants the perfect opportunity for such a sensual experience. I’m delighted to listen for hours to the patter on the roof; to me, it’s soothing beyond description. The scents of the drenched woods are intoxicating.
Today is a rare, completely sunless day in Cleveland. It’s been gloomy since I first glanced outside, an hour or so after dawn. Now, as I write in the late afternoon, it’s become even darker. To me, it’s a perfect time to light candles and turn on the gas fireplace for a couple hours. The mystical neighbor mentioned above speculates that perhaps I yearn for a previous incarnation when candles and fireplaces were the only sources of light (Outlander, anyone?). Whether or not I had a previous existence in a pre-electricity era, I do indeed enjoy the coziness of the glow of the fire on a wet, chilly day. It’s a reminder that I can choose to be outside, witnessing Nature in what we call “inclement” mode, or I can sit indoors, comfortable and dry, with the animals curled up around me. I went out to leave food for the squirrels and saw that almost the entire floor of our porch was soaked, which means that the wind is coming out of the north-northeast, which doesn’t happen often around here. As the squirrels’ normal dining area was awash, I placed their nut mixture up on the half pillar, which was a bit drier. I doubt they’ll come to eat until the rain moves off, however. A few birds were still circling the feeders; evidently, they’re a bit hardier than the squirrels.
I learned early on that applauding rain and disliking bright, sunny days was something to keep to myself. Everybody loves the sun, right? I can take it in small doses, on mild days, can even turn my face up and bask in the spring, but trooping to the beach in the dazzle of 85-degree days….not for me. Unless, of course, I can find some deep shade. Most people are thrilled to see the sun emerge after a storm, be it rain or snow. Not me. And as for snow, which I enjoy at least as much as rain, the glare from the sun glinting off fresh powder seems to me to be incongruous; if it’s cold, it should be dark, as well.
When I was exhibiting at art shows, we all prayed for bright days, of course, because only the most intrepid souls ventured out when the skies opened up. I was put in the position of wanting clear weather for the sake of business, but nevertheless not being sorry if a shower moved through. Even during cloudbursts, I’d sit in my tent, with tarps thrown over my display tables, having a great time as rivulets slid down the edges of the rain flaps and miniature ponds filled the awnings. What my fellow artisans took to be unflagging optimism in the face of such storms was just my unspoken delight in them. In our motorhome, we’ve often been an island in a surrounding lake of rain water, or been the divider in flowing streams of run-off. My attitude? Hey, it was fun while it lasted. Is there any more rain in the forecast?